Friday, 11 January 2008

Drinks around

Beer is apparently now cheaper to buy in the supermarkets than in Alko, even though the prices on alcohol were said to be going up with the New Year.

And that the prices have done, not by much, but anyway.

The supermarkets can sell the same beer for less this apparently being a direct cause of the supermarket chain’s more effective distribution system, even with the prices going up it will still be cheaper than at Alko.

Finland is a country of beer drinkers, as of sausages like the Germans. The Finns enjoy their beer with their saunas on Saturdays, and sausages are commonly joked about being a vegetable comparable to a carrot. So the price of beer seems to be essential to many Finns, at least it might determine where you go shopping.

Well, so much for beer, it is one or two bottles of beer a year that is consumed by me and one of them has become a tradition, a late night snack, a ham sandwich with a thick slice of home made Xmas ham, my grandma’s traditional Xmas bread with some hot mustard made after a recipe that has been in the family for five generations and a beer on the night to Boxing Day.

Anyway, now I must confess to you one of my great fears, to go by train and that I had to do the other day visiting a friend of mine. I have no idea where this insensible fear of mine origins from, as I have problems with taking the commuter train to get into town or go by metro, but somehow long-distance trains are a scare and this was the tenth time I have been on a long distance train. This might also be the reason I never went Inter-railing as so many of me friends did in their younger days, and it might also have had something to do that my mum would probably not have let me do that, but then I do not know the answer to that question as it was never asked back then.

Anyway, the train was right on time, even a bit early at the station; it also stopped so I could get in. It being so late when I was getting back home I had not been able to buy myself a fare in advance, and as I did not know what time I might be getting back, wining and dining with my friend as the nights sometimes can get a bit late or early might be the right word but as I had to be back early the next morning and was not able to spend the night I had no choice but take the train in the evening to get home in time. The train was not even half full with lots of empty seats I sat down by the window and turned my MP3 player on waiting for the guard to arrive to my compartment to sell me a ticket and just in no time I had company by an admiring male person.

What is there about me and men seeking my company, of little demure me who only would like to left alone and just be? Why do these men who have had too much to drink always hit on me when I am not in the mood for being chatted up, and they never take a polite no for an answer?

Unfortunately as I did not have a book with me I could dive into and look preoccupied with I had no other alternative than to politely try to avoid having a conversation with him, trying to evade his questions and only answering elusively.

I still wonder what kind of invisible drunkard magnet am I carrying with me as I am always being hit on in the bus , on an airplane or the train where I have no chance of getting away by someone who has had “a bit too much” to drink?!? I have nothing against being chatted up, or being hit on for that matter when in the right mood. A flirt does not mean anything more than a pastime for me as there is nothing that comes out of it. I have great many male friends with whom I have had good flirtatious conversations over the decades we have known each other, and we do not mean anything more than having fun, spending a good time together making jokes at each other and about each other.

Thank God this already in advance dreaded train trip was not a long one and I could get off at the next station, securing myself against any further attempts the same night of being hit at on the bus by other as thirsty candidates by taking a taxi home from the station.


  1. While your accounts are interesting about living as a foreigner in Finland it would be very helpful to have some idea of the context of your impressions.Perhaps some coparison of the differences between here and say Spain where overt expressions of affect are the norm. Perhaps the true sincerity of Finns might be worth a mention.

  2. Dear dissident,
    As my Blog is about my personal impressions of living in this country, the facts I mention are merely subjective, my own personal point of view. And I have mentioned that Finns really are "what you see is what you get" in the "Socialguide for foreigners in Finland" which you will find at:
    Wishing you a nice day,